A line from the play The Tempest, by William Shakespeare; it continues, “and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep.” It is spoken by the magician Prospero. He has just made a large group of spirits vanish and is reminding his daughter and her fiancé that mortal life also ends quickly.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.